Even as a self-proclaimed dystopian junkie, this book fascinated me. I'd seen it on my TL a few times and had even marked it as to-read, but it wasn't until it was rec'd to me by a friend last week that I took the time to look at it seriously.Dude.Something like this...it could happen. So many books talk about government takeovers and the collapse of civilizations - both completely frightening and plausible events - but this is something completely beyond our control. And that terrifies me (maybe because I felt my house shake a little bit this afternoon when the earthquake happened in Kentucky?)I feel like I need to start canning vegetables and raising chickens. But back to the book :) Darla - I love her and while I've never been a 16 year old boy, I found Alex to be pretty much what I expected. He isn't written as the perfect male superhero boy -- and btw, where were all those boys when I was in HS. She is smart and level-headed with enough snark to hold her own. He is awkward and unsure and has a few "I WILL PROTECT YOU" moments where maybe his testosterone get the better of him. But the relationship between Alex and Darla is totally realistic and perfectly simple.Mike Mullin has written a story that has completely sucked me in and I can't wait to find out where he takes these two in the next book.